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2009 Watkins Award

2009 Watkins Award Recipient’s Individual Dinners

April 18th Jamal-Rashad Patterson - Atlanta, GA

April 19th Christopher Burnette - Atlanta, GA

May 2nd Jemari Roberts - Long Beach, California

May 9th Jelani Jenkins - Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC

May 16th Richard Wilson - Spanish Fork, UT/Salt Lake City, UT

Elite Five (in alphabetical order):

Christopher Burnette of LaGrange, Georgia – Chris maintains a 5.1 GPA. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, volunteers for Tiger Team School Mentorship Program, National Merit Scholar, and an Army All American All Star.  He participates in football and track & field at Troup County High School.


 Jelani Jenkins of Silver Spring, Maryland -  Jelani maintains a 3.96 GPA.  He is a member of the National Honor Society, Black Student Association, Xaverian Leadership, volunteers for Eyas Advisor Mentoring, and an Under Armour All American.  He participates in football and track & field at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School.


Jamal-Rashad Patterson of McDonough, Georgia – Jamal maintains a 4.65 GPA. He is member of the Who’s Who Among Americans, National Society of High School Scholars, United States Achievement Academy, National Beta Club, and an Under Armour All American.  He participates in football and is a state track champion at Henry County High School.


Jemari Roberts of Long Beach, California – Jemari maintains a 3.9 GPA.  He is a member of the Distinguished Scholars Program, President of XMen Service Club, volunteer coach for The Youth Soccer League and 1st Team All Moore league.  He participates in football and track & field at Wilson High School.


Richard Wilson of Spanish Fork, UT – Richard maintains a 3.8 GPA. He is an Academic All Region, Hope of American Award recipient, member of HOSA Club and volunteers at his church with youth.  He participates in football and track & field at Spanish Fork High School.


Finalists are chosen based on their unweighted grade point average, their personal statements, extra curricular activities, community service, and letters of recommendation. Each winner will be recognized in Los Angeles, receive an award, ring, and dinner in their hometown.

The National Alliance of African American Athletes was founded in 1989.  The mission of The Alliance is to empower African American males through athletics, education and public programs. For more information, visit our website at


The Watkins Award is presented annually to African American scholar-athletes since 1992, the Watkins Award is named for Franklin D. Watkins, the coach of championship football and basketball teams in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Previous awardees include Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle; Atlanta Falcons Justin Blalock; Miami Dolphins Ted Ginn Jr.; Washington Redskins Lorenzo Alexander; Arizona Cardinals Robert Tate; Cleveland Browns Darnell Dinkins; New York Giants LaVarr Arrington; Oakland Raiders Grant Irons and Ronald Curry; Indianapolis Colts Deryck Toles; Jacksonville Jaguars Marcedes Lewis; Detroit Lions Ernie Sims; and Houston Texan Darius Walker.

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